The mysterious strain of coronavirus from the Chinese province of Wuhan has now taken the lives of 17 individuals, authorities reported Wednesday. Following the increase in the death toll, many companies have advised their employees not to visit China as global panic over the contagion of the infection intensifies.
Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Apple supplier Foxconn, in an internal announcement has advised their employees to refrain from visiting China as much as possible. Foxconn among other companies across China like Huawei and HSBC has warned employees to not visit Wuhan and have initiated the delivery and distribution of protective masks to their employees.
The previously-unknown strain of coronavirus, which brought flu-like symptoms to the infected individuals, was said to have originated from the illegal wildlife trade in the Chinese province of Wuhan. Authorities have recently confirmed that the then-ununderstood strain is communicable through human interaction. The World Health Organization (WHO) has likened the health crisis to the SARS pandemic back in 2003.
Learning from their mistakes during the SARS crisis, the Chinese government has now become more forthcoming about the updates they receive from their health department on the coronavirus, after cases have been detected from neighboring countries and as far as the United States.
“The rise in the mobility of the public has objectively increased the risk of the epidemic spreading,” National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin said.
Meanwhile, the WHO is set to meet in order to discuss whether to rule the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency.